Ulysses team honoured at SpaceOps 2008
13 May 2008The Ulysses Mission Operations Team has received the 2008 International SpaceOps Award for Outstanding Achievement.
This award, to be presented during the SpaceOps 2008 Conference, recognises outstanding efforts in overcoming space operations and/or support challenges, and recognizes those teams or individuals whose exceptional contributions were critical to the success of a space mission.
In receiving this award the Ulysses Mission Operations Team is cited for: "its outstanding contributions to the success, scientific productivity, and longevity of the joint ESA-NASA Ulysses Mission to the poles of the Sun."
Ulysses was launched in October 1990 on a planned 5-year mission. Operations engineers have ensured its continued and successful operation for the subsequent 17 years. In early 2008 it was announced that the on-board power supply had dropped to a level whereby it could no longer support all of the communications, heating and scientific equipment simultaneously. Once the on-board temperature drops below 2 °C the spacecraft's hydrazine fuel will freeze blocking the fuel pipes and making the spacecraft impossible to manoeuvre. As a result the spacecraft is expected to cease operating in the near future.
The SpaceOps 2008 conference takes place from 12 to 16 May in Heidelberg, Germany.